Friday, February 20, 2015

The Well of the One Who Sees Me

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I did not intend to write any more posts with the label 'Transition 2014'.  I declared myself Done.


If you write a blog with the title 'Beer Lahai Roi', whenever you are in a service in which the speakers talk about Hagar, you tend to prick up your ears.

Our quarterly women's gathering was this month...focusing on opportunities for service within the women's ministry  department.

But our senior co-pastor and both campus co-pastors spoke first, speaking of Hagar, who first ran away and then was sent away.  Who had an encounter with God Himself, who spoke into her and into her future.

Suddenly, in the midst of the meeting, I identified fiercely with Hagar.

I tried to run away, early on, and was told to go back.

In the end, though,  I was sent away.

I thought I was over being wrecked but...I guess not.

I've had some conversations with God over that night, let me tell you.

And I have seen some things.

Firstly, what I saw was that Ishmael held the place until the promise came.  He was evidence that God was working a miracle, even though he wasn't the miracle himself.  What made Ishmael bitter was Hagar's attitude.  Jealousy, disrespect for the authority over her, a victim mentality...who knows what was percolating in her spirit.

God keep me from Hagar's error.

Then I saw that Ishmael was not a product of Hagar's rebellion.  He was a product of her submission and obedience, even if it came with a bit of opportunism.  Our society looks very differently at the whole process, but in that day and that culture one of the highest achievements a woman could attain was to bear a son.

Hagar had a son.  She had a promise and a future.  She had hope.

All of those things were represented by a son.

But Ishmael was more his mother's son than his father's son.  None of his actions reflected the character of his father.  The wounds in his mother influenced him.

God, teach me to heal my wounds rather than propagate them.

What would Ishmael's place have been if his mother had encouraged him to grow into his father's character?  How would he have treated his younger brother, the true heir?  How would history have played out if the older brother had seen himself as the protector and guardian of the younger instead of the rival? 

Hagar had two supernatural encounters in her life, but she failed to apply the lessons of them to her spirit.

God, do not let me only superficially respond to Your Spirit.  Let Your words and Your instruction change who I am and how I react. Let me always use any influence I have to encourage others to develop the character of their Father.

There is a part two for this, dealing with lies  of the enemy.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

SSMT 2015 Verse 4: Galatians 5:13

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Today's the day to select the 4th verse for the Siesta Scripture Memory Verse Team.
The first three verses of the year  pretty well jumped out at me before I even got to posting day.

Today, though, I came to the computer with  nothin'.

So, I did one of my "I got nothin' " drills...I picked up my Bible and I began to read.

First, I felt drawn to Hebrews...but I did a study in Hebrews in the tail end of 2013 and several of those verses were written in that spiral.

Then I thought about a verse that had ministered to me early last fall, so I read Revelation 2 and 3.  It was a really good verse, but it wasn't really where I am at the moment.

I'm not even sure how I ended up in Galatians, but somehow I did.  And the verse I found myself pondering was 5:13, in Paul's discussion of not being bound up by the requirements of the Law:

You, my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

In the not-to-distant past, I read an advice column in the newspaper.  The columnist published two letters, both from folks who indicated they were pastors, in response to a previous letter from a lady with a question about a marital issue.  Both of those letters stated, in effect, that God wants us to be happy and she should not feel guilty if she left her husband. Now, she didn't indicate that there was any kind of abuse or infidelity...the implication was that marriage just wasn't living up to her expectations.

I was really, really grieved by the answers.  Not just because the marriage was being trivialized, but because the two representatives of the church of the living God basically said that God's greatest desire for His people is for them to be 'happy'... and the implication that 'happy' is dependent upon our circumstances, so we are justified in manipulating our circumstances to achieve 'happy'.

How does that concept line up with Galatians 5:13?  We are free of the obligation to the Law; we are not free of conforming to the nature of Christ.  God's highest ideal is not that we achieve personal happiness; His ideal is stated in Romans 8:29...that his people are conformed to the image of Jesus.  That's His idea of what is 'good' for us (see the previous verse...).  Not that we are happy, healthy, prosperous, favored...but that we are true representatives of Jesus.

Who left everything glorious behind and took on the nature of a servant.
Who did not consider what HE wanted at all...always, it was what the Father wanted.

The 'sinful nature' has connotations of immorality, pleasure seeking, excessive indulgence...and, yes, it is those things, but  really gross sin isn't the issue.  More basically the 'sinful nature' is just that part of ourselves that wants what we want when we want is the self-centered, what's-in-it-for-me inclination to put our opinions and our ideas above God's.

After all, that was what tripped up Eve...she decided she knew better than God.  And that's been the essence of the 'sin nature' ever since.

So, yes, we are free of the requirements of the Law.  Jesus fulfilled it.  But not so we could spend our energy and our resources on we could be a representation of Him to people who would never know Him otherwise.

And, yeah, this makes me say 'ouch' too...

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Small Miracles

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

This morning, I saw that Rachel posed a question on her blog dealing with recognizing miracles.

I actually had checked the archives of Beer Lahai Roi last night to see if I had related a particular story of a small...very small...miracle that happened last fall.

And I certainly didn't recognize it at the time.

It was en route to DIVE.  You may remember my mention of the fact that it was the first time I had been on an airplane since 1999.

Flying has changed a LOT since 1999.

The day started off with tornado sirens at 3 AM...which was something like 45 minutes to an hour before the alarm was to go off.  The storm was not threatening us, but there was no reason to try and make up the rest of my sleep.

When we got to the airport, My Sweet Baboo walked me through the check in process. When I got my boarding passes, he looked at it and commented, 'Oh...they Fast Passed you'.  Didn't really mean much in our airport-run-out-of-the-back-of-a-hotel that had no one in any lines, but, well, ok.  I kissed him good-bye, put my bag on the conveyer belt walked through security.

About 30 minutes before my flight was to board, I bought a bottle of water and took a Dramamine tablet.  Air travel and my tummy don't always play nice together, and I've learned that fasting and Dramamine go a long way to prevent humiliation.  But Dramamine does make me  kinda woozy.

Better than puking.

We were delayed before takeoff...the same line of storms that had set off the sirens at 3AM were hitting Atlanta and they had shut it down for a bit...but I had a 2 hour layover, plus I figured all outgoing flights would be delayed as well so I really wasn't worried.  Once we were cleared, the flight to ATL was uneventful all around.  But I was really sleepy.

Of course, I had to change concourses.  But my connecting flight was showing as being delayed, so no problems.  I actually enjoyed the brisk walk from concourse E to concourse T.

However, I could NOT find the gate I was to exit from.  Gate T 9.  I looked and looked.  I found 1 - 8, and I found 11 - 15 or whatever that top number was, but gates 9 and 10 were, like, nowhere.

Then I noticed a set of revolving doors in the general area where I thought 9 and 10 should be. 'Oh,' I thought, 'There must be a hallway there.'

And I went through those double doors.

All you experienced travelers are no doubt laughing at me, but keep in mind I had not been in an airport in over 15 years.

Of course, what I had just done was leave the secured area.

TSA Guards have NO compassion.  I couldn't get any answers out of anyone except that now I had to go back through the security line.

Which was a LOT longer than the line at our local airport.

But I had the Fast Pass.  The TSA Agent was not very nice about the half bottle of water that was in my back pack, but I told him to throw it away and, feeling rather humbled, bought another bottle once I got back onto the concourse.

Then I texted my Traveling Buddy...thanks to Rita, I'd made contact with another lady heading to DIVE who was on the same flight...and asked her where gate 9 was.

'We're at gate 6,' she texted back.

Facepalm.  I'd gotten one of my seat numbers confused with the gate number.

Sleep deprived and on Dramamine.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

It wasn't until about Tuesday that it hit me...if I had not had the Fast Pass, I would've had to stand in the regular line.  Which was very long.  And we only had about 40 minutes until we boarded.

I might've missed my flight...but God had made sure I had what I needed before I needed it.

If He did it then...He will do it again.

Incidentally, I did NOT get a Fast Pass on the return trip, but that was ok.  I had learned from the first mistake. :-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Putting a demand on it...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I didn't make new year's resolutions, as such, but I did give myself a challenge.

I wanted to see if I could put a demand on the writing anointing; after DIVE, which proved to me I could write a song...even if it isn't a brilliant song...I wanted to work that pump and see if there's good water there.

And we were told that writing is like digging a have to pump out a bunch of mud before you get to the good water.

So, well, I thought I'd start pumping.

My goal is one song a month.

I came up with a song in January; not brilliant, but not bad.  I'm pretty happy with it, although it has no musical accompaniment at all and the bridge may change if I actually put music with it.

So, on to February.

Driving home from work last night, I got a flash of inspiration about remixing a classic hymn (think Cornerstone if you don't know what I mean).

All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name is the one that hit me...with a rather celtic-sounding melody line.

When I got home, I pulled out one of my old Baptist-choir era hymnals and jotted down what I had in mind.

But I don't sing well a capella.  And I had no idea how to capture the melody before I forgot it.

I had an old toyish battery-operated  keyboard that had belonged to my grandmother years ago; I thought I could noodle something out of that.

But I couldn't find it.  I looked all over.  Nothing.  I kinda panicked.

I finally pulled out my classical guitar, that is played with more than played, and managed to pick out a melody line that I recorded fa-so-la style on my lyric sheet.  Because who knows WHAT key that thing is tuned to.  I suspect it's at least a step and a half low.
 Ugly and not really complete, but enough to remind me of what I was thinking.

Then, when I got home from work tonight, I happened to ask The Actor if he had seen Grandma's keyboard.

'Why do you want it?' He asked.

Sheesh.  I have to explain???

He had it.  Now I can get it properly transcribed...
Y'know, I *might* want to invest in a slightly more uptown piece of equipment if I really do much of

Sunday, February 1, 2015

SSMT Verse 3

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I almost missed this.  Even though I exclaimed over it being Feb. 1 already as I posted today's choir wardrobe to the sewing blog, I still didn't think about it being the due date for the next memory verse selection.

But when I clicked on my feed burner to see any lastest posts, I got reminded.  There was Mama Beth's post with her verse 3 exhortation.

I already knew what my verse would be.  It's one that was mentioned in the last Elijah House discussion:

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. -- Zeph. 3:17 NIV 84

That's something I need to remind myself over and over...